The Chilean Foreign Ministry today rejected comments on U.S. intervention by a U.S. delegate to the Geneva meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, but made no reference to a resolution the United States co-sponsored condemning Chile for human-rights violations.
News that deputy U.S. delegate Brady Tyson had put the resolution condemning the government of Gen. Augusto Pinochet went virtually unmentioned in the Santiago press today as well.
The statement said: "Although Mr. Tyson has been disavowed by the President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, the government of Chile rejects in a most energetic manner the comments by this official and considers them unfounded, irresponsible and an open intervention in the internal affairs of Chile."
Meanwhile, the momentum of human-rights activities here has picked up, apparently encouraged by the Carter administration's stress on the issue, and the government appears to be getting ready to crack down on them.
It called a petition on missing persons, presented to the Supreme Court yesterday by more than a hundred women, "another sample of the current campaign initiated by Marxism against Chile."
Saying that such Marxist exploitation of human-rights activity "shows clearly that the country is not ready to return to juridical and political normality," it warned that the government "will not hestiate to apply inflexibly all measures necessary to defend the nation from the grave dangers presented by those who attack it."
Pinochet told a West German reporter that Soviet propaganda and Chilean exiles have influenced the Carter administration in its relations with Chile, according to reports printed here.
"Chilean relations with the United States have always been cordial," Reuter quoted Pinochet as saying, "but I must say that now the United States has let itself be influenced by Soviet propaganda."
Public activities in favor of human rights, sponsored by a Catholic Church agency and independent groups, have increased here since November, when the Pinochet government announced the release of 300 political prisoners.
At the time, human-rights advocates said Carter's election had been a factor in the releases.
In December, the groups began almost weekly court presentations seeking investigations of the whereabouts of "disappeared persons."
Yesterday's petition, which had more than 2,000 signatures, asked the court to "reaffirm its independence" of the government and work to clear up the fate of 501 persons listed as having disappeared in the past 3 1/2 years after being arrested by security police. Many of the women presenting the petition are relatives of missing persons.
The government said there was a "suggestive coincidence" in the presentation of the petition during the Geneva meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Commission.
[In London, a gunman burst into the Chilean naval attache's office Wednesday evening and fired three shots without hitting anyone, Reuter reported. The man was captured, but police did not immediately announce his name or nationality, and it was not known whether his action was related to human rights or because of a private grievance.]